By Sarah E. Lawson
I’ve always been moody, and I can’t remember ever having much energy. I’ve always had hard periods too, sometimes for two weeks at a time. The last two years were the worst, the pelvic pain unimaginable. I was so frustrated; I felt that no one really believed anything was wrong with me. “Sarah can’t handle any type of pain.” Whatever. I had three kids naturally, so I guess I can handle pain.
Everyone I knew had a different opinion about what was wrong with me. I had an infection. I was in pre-menopause. I needed estrogen. The doctors weren’t much more help. One said I might have a cyst and gave me medicine to make me have another period. Like I needed another period. The pain got worse and so did the mood swings. She checked for cysts. There were none.
Finally I found a doctor who would listen to me. With each question he asked my hopes went up. “Yes!” I thought. “Finally someone who knows what’s wrong with me. We can do something about it.” He told me that I might have Endometriosis. He gave me options and told me to think about what I wanted to do. I went to my van and sat in the parking lot reading the pamphlet he’d given me, tears falling from my eyes, tears of joy for knowing what was wrong with me.
I feel like I am one of the lucky ones with this disease. I was able to have three wonderful kids. They were all born a little early, but not too early. I had no trouble with my first child, a baby boy. I was bedridden for two months with my second. She was born into this world very healthy. My last child was the hardest. I started having pain around my sixth month. The doctors told me that it must be the baby laying wrong, pinching a nerve. She was also born healthy.
Sixth months after I had her the pain came back, worse than before. I knew something had to be wrong. I started having two periods a month and getting even more tired. I made an appointment with the Indian Hospital. I was on a waiting list for six months. I’m not complaining. I found the doctor who helped me after the wait.
I was also lucky because I was able to make my decision about how to treat the disease easily. The doctor told me the surest way of keeping the Endo from returning was to have a hysterectomy and take estrogen. His words were music to my ears. I told him to take everything out. I didn’t have to worry about keeping my ovaries and other woman parts. I already had my children. I had to wait a month for the operation.
I had it a week ago. I am sore, but I feel much better than before. My emotions are not going everywhere all the time. My pelvis is not hurting like it was. I am on pain medicine and I am groggy, but I have more energy then I ever remember having. In this short time, I am already feeling 80% better.
I would not have made it through all this without my family. They may not have understood me as I experienced the different stages of this disease, but they have always stuck by my side. They didn’t care if I was being bitchy or acting “lazy.” I am family, and we take care of family.
That is more than I can say for the men in my life. They couldn’t handle living with me. I couldn’t handle living with them. Like I said, my mood swings have been pretty bad. Just ask my three ex-husbands. I am sure they’ll jump up to the plate and say how bad I was.
I am now thirty-two years old, a single mom of three, a full-time college student, and a part-time worker. I feel like a teenager just starting out. I have so much that I want to do with my kids and with my life. I feel like I will have the energy now, which is the greatest feeling around.
My little boy is six years old, and he has seen how bad I’ve been feeling lately. He knows that something is wrong. I’m sometimes grouchy because I don’t feel good. I told him that I was sorry and that the doctor was fixing me. He told me that even though I was grouchy, I was still a good mom, and that he loved me. I cried my eyes out. I am so looking forward to being able to spend more time with my kids. I am one of the lucky ones.
Sarah E. Lawson is a 32-year-old Native American living in Catoosa, Oklahoma. She has three kids and goes to Devry College, taking all of her courses online. She is single and just recovering from having a hysterectomy. She loves to write poetry, short stories, fiction, and non-fiction.
Sarah wanted to share her experience with Endometriosis. “I wanted to let women know there is hope for everyone with this disease.”
Photo "Pregnancy 2" courtesy of Paul Preacher.
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